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Environment, energy and the election

The policy plans of each presidential candidate concerning environmental issues will affect our world, and voters need to be aware of the possible outcomes. Based on historical trends republican and democratic candidates hold opposing viewpoints on the issue and the 2016 presidential candidates are no different.

The environment has been a topic of dispute within our country for decades, as some individuals advocate the need for the preservation and restoration of nature, while others find energy issues of greater importance. These topics commonly overlap with the idea of climate change as well.   

Oil and gas drilling, the use of coal and natural gas, the inclusion of renewable energy sources and the carbon tax also join the debate.

“Whether we agree or disagree, national and global decisions won’t happen outside of national or international government involvement,” said John Korstad, ORU Professor of Environmental Science.

This presidential election will determine how the U.S. will participate on the global stage concerning all these issues.

Political proposals like the Paris Climate Agreement with the U.N. and the Clean Power Plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency will bring the nations together in an attempt to undertake ambitious efforts against climate change effects and global warming.

Clinton believes that climate control is an “urgent threat” and has planned an action course if she takes office this November.

Clinton states on her website she plans to continue the pledge Obama made to “put the country on a path to cut greenhouse emission by 80 percent by 2050.”

Donald Trump’s website indicates that he plans to “Encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.”

He says he would cut funds for the Environmental Protection Agency and reiterated in the second presidential debate he believes the money spent on the EPA “is killing [national] energy companies.”

“Voters should be well informed and refrain from being ‘single issue deciders,’” said Korstad.

Before heading to the polls on Tuesday, voters should quickly review the issues each candidate plans to focus on or change during their presidency.